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Four-Armed Ganesha
Four-Armed Ganesha

Four-Armed Ganesha

India, Uttar Pradesh
Gupta period (320–600)
5th–6th century A.D.
Terracotta relief
19 5/16 x 26 3/4 x 8 1/8 in. (49.1 x 67.9 x 20.6 cm)
AP 1981.11
Ganesha is the elephant-headed son of Shiva, one of the three most important deities of the Hindu pantheon, and his consort, the goddess Parvati. He is widely worshiped as the remover of obstacles and the bestower of good fortune, prosperity, and health.
Lion
Lion

Lion

Syria
5th century
c. A.D. 450–62
Mosaic
42 1/2 x 76 15/16 in. (108 x 195.5 cm)
AP 1972.17
This schematized image of a ferocious lion probably came from a pavement decoration. It might represent a lion as part of a hunt scene or as a motif in a religious narrative.
Haniwa Seated Man
Haniwa Seated Man

Haniwa Seated Man

Japan, Ibaraki prefecture, Kashima, Hokota site
Kofun period (248–646)
c. A.D. 500
Low-fired clay with cinnabar pigment
29 15/16 x 10 5/8 in. (76 x 27 cm)
AP 1972.02
Haniwa, which means “circle (or tube) of clay,” is the term given to large numbers of hollow clay cylinders that were placed in and around the bases of large earthen mounds covering Japanese royal tombs.
Codex-Style Vessel with Two Scenes of Pawahtun Instructing Scribes
Codex-Style Vessel with Two Scenes of Pawahtun Instructing Scribes

Codex-Style Vessel with Two Scenes of Pawahtun Instructing Scribes

Possibly Mexico or Guatemala, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 550–950
Ceramic with monochrome decoration
H. 3 3/4 (9.5 cm); Diam. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm)
AP 2004.04
This celebrated vessel depicts two scenes with the deity Pawahtun, a principal god of Maya scribes, in animated lessons with young disciples. The Pawahtun is recognizable by his aged features and his netted headdress with a brush wedged into the ties.
Vessel with a Mythological Frieze
Vessel with a Mythological Frieze

Vessel with a Mythological Frieze

Possibly Guatemala or Belize, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 550–950
Polychromed ceramic
H. 10 13/16 in. (27.5 cm); Diam. 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm)
AP 2004.02
This tall vessel is skillfully painted with a unique mythological frieze depicting two renderings of the aged supreme deity Itzamna, the god of heaven and sun for the Yucatec Maya.
Jar in the Shape of a Stupa
Jar in the Shape of a Stupa

Jar in the Shape of a Stupa

China, Shaanxi, Shandong, or Henan province
Northern Qi period or Sui dynasty (550–577/581–618)
late 6th or early 7th century
Earthenware with traces of painted polychrome pigment
19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
AP 1994.06 a,b,c
This unusual pottery jar illustrates the early assimilation of Buddhist motifs to the decoration of Chinese mortuary objects.
Smiling Girl Holding a Basket
Smiling Girl Holding a Basket

Smiling Girl Holding a Basket

Mexico, central Veracruz, Nopiloa style
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
A.D. 600–750
Ceramic with white slip and traces of paint
7 9/16 x 6 1/8 x 3 3/4 in. (19.2 x 15.5 x 9.5 cm)
AP 1978.01
Among numerous regional variations, hollow modeled figures from the Veracruz area of the Gulf Coast are noted for their typical smiling facial expressions and the great care given to the slightest details of ornament and attire.
Standing Dignitary
Standing Dignitary

Standing Dignitary

Peru, South Coast, Wari culture
Middle Horizon, c. 7th–11th century A.D.
c. A.D. 600–1000
Wood with shell-and-stone inlay and silver
4 x 2 1/2 x 1 in. (10.2 x 6.4 x 2.6 cm)
AP 2002.04
This rare Wari freestanding figurine is composed of intricate and densely patterned inlays of mother-of-pearl, purple and orange spondylus shell, mussel shell, turquoise, pyrite, greenstone, lapis lazuli, and silver (for the headdress) on a wood matrix.
Standing Ruler
Standing Ruler

Standing Ruler

Guatemala, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 600–800
Ceramic with traces of paint
9 3/8 x 3 7/8 x 3 7/8 in. (23.8 x 9.9 x 9.8 cm)
AP 1984.03
The surviving works of Maya civilization range from the smallest objects to great edifices. Among the small-scale artworks of the Maya are many exquisite ceramic figurines only a few inches high.
Standing Buddha Shakyamuni
Standing Buddha Shakyamuni

Standing Buddha Shakyamuni

Nepal
Licchavi period (400-750)
7th century
Gilded copper
19 3/4 x 8 x 3 3/8 in. (50.2 x 20.3 x 8.6 cm)
AP 1979.01
This slim, richly gilded figure represents the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, Sage of the Shakya clan.
Court Lady
Court Lady

Court Lady

China, probably Shaanxi province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
first half of the 8th century
Gray earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
16 5/16 x 7 1/16 x 6 3/8 in. (41.5 x 18 x 16.2 cm)
AP 2001.01
One of the most engaging and distinctive groups of Tang funerary sculpture is the one representing ladies of the court. This animated and charming example stands in a gracefully swayed pose, her petite hands held in a conversational gesture in front of her swelling form.
Earth Spirit
Earth Spirit

Earth Spirit

China, probably Shaanxi province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
first half of the 8th century
Gray earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
31 1/8 x 7 9/16 x 11 1/4 in. (79.1 x 19.2 x 28.5 cm)
AP 2001.02
The inclusion of fantastic animal guardians as part of the retinue of tomb figures began in the Northern Wei dynasty (A.D. 386–534) and continued into the Tang dynasty.
Harihara
Harihara

Harihara

Cambodia, Kompong Cham, style of Prasat Andet
Pre-Angkor period (550–802)
c. 675–700
Stone
45 1/2 x 20 7/8 x 11 in. (115.6 x 53 x 28 cm)
AP 1988.01
The Khmer kingdom controlled Cambodia as well as large areas of Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos from the sixth to the fifteenth centuries.
Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross
Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross

Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross

Mexico, Usumacinta region, Chiapas, Palenque, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900)
c. A.D. 690-720
Ceramic with traces of pigments
44 7/8 × 21 1/2 × 11 1/2 in. (114 × 54.6 × 29.2 cm)
AP 2013.02
Monumental ceramic censer stands are some of the finest and largest freestanding sculptures created by Maya artists.
Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld
Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld

Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld

Mexico, Usumacinta region, Chiapas, Palenque, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900)
c. A.D. 690-720
Ceramic with traces of pigments
44 × 22 × 12 1/4 in. (111.8 × 55.9 × 31.1 cm)
AP 2013.01
Monumental ceramic censer stands are some of the finest and largest freestanding sculptures created by Maya artists.
Vessel with Ceremonial Scene
Vessel with Ceremonial Scene

Vessel with Ceremonial Scene

Mexico, Campeche, Jaina Island (?), Maya culture, Chocholá style
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 690–750
Carved ceramic with traces of pigment
H. 8 1/8 in. (20.7 cm); Diam. 6 13/16 in. (17.3 cm)
APx 1974.04
The scene on this vessel appears to depict a ritual that is being enacted in a sumptuous palace interior, indicated by the swagged curtain framing the top of the scene.

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